Author: Helen Farrell

Editor-in-Chief of The Florentine, Helen writes about food, wine and all things literary. She is also a freelance contributor to Decanter. Email her at and follow her on Instagram @helencfarrell.
February 4, 2019

The backstory on Baci chocolates

A blue box of silver-foil chocolates wrapped with a note is a failsafe on February 14. But there’s actually a real-life love story behind the Baci. When Perugia-born clothing designer Luisa Spagnoli first invented the hazelnut-centred chocolate in 1922, she called it a cazzotto because it resembled a fist. The name didn’t ring right to […]
January 31, 2019

Interview with Tuscany’s immigration councillor

The Salvini Decree, social inclusion and the Tuscan response
January 18, 2019

Is the Leaning Tower straightening out?

"Like human nature, it's almost falling but never does"
January 17, 2019

A chat with the new director of Florence’s French Institute

"I always want to discover Florence’s wealth of heritage"

From Magritte to Duchamp in Pisa

“The Mona Lisa is so universally known and admired by everyone that I have been very tempted to use it to cause a scandal. I tried to make those moustaches really artistic.” —Marcel Duchamp on his 1919 “readymade” work L.H.O.O.Q.     The exhibition underway at Pisa’s Palazzo Blu is not for the art initiate […]
January 14, 2019

Waste not, want not: a recipe by Andrea Campani

Waste not, want not. Chef Andrea Campani, of Florence's Il Borro Tuscan Bistro gets creative with cold cuts by rehashing leftover chicken into a delectable chicken dog.

“No good food in Pisa”? Take it with a grain of salt

  As frequent flyers from Pisa Airport, we tend to enjoy a plate of pasta before leaving home or, at a push, at Galileo Galilei’s overpriced first-floor restaurant. Because, as my husband reminds me, “Non si mangia bene a Pisa”. Call me skeptical, but I find it difficult to digest that a Tuscan city with […]

Getting to know The British Institute of Florence’s new director

Simon Gammell took up his post in October
January 11, 2019

Is Florence safe?

An op-ed from our editor-in-chief
January 9, 2019

2019: the year ahead in Florence

From anniversaries commemorating Leonardo da Vinci, Caterina de’ Medici and Cosimo I de’ Medici to local elections, the best of basketball, Ed Sheeran and the opening of that tramline to the airport, 2019 in Florence looks more alluring than ever.         Anniversaries   Everyone’s talking about The Big One—500 years since the […]